A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Twelve-Fingered Boy is an intense horror adventure with compelling characters that adds a creepy note to the notion of superpowers. It has a number of very violent scenes, some of which sensitive readers may find disturbing (a bloody fight between inmates at a juvenile detention center, a gunfight, a stabbing, in which a teen character is gravely injured, an adbuction and imprisonment of a girl by a presumed pedophile). Perhaps more disturbing than the physical violence is the mental "rape" that happens when the villains take over the bodies and minds of their victims. There's little sexual content, and objectionable language generally ranges from "titty-baby" to "damn," "hell," "bitch," and "bastard."
What's the story?
At the start of THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY, Shreve Cannon wants only to finish his term at the juvenile detention center. But after he's chosen to be the unofficial guardian of Jack, a seemingly weak and shut-down new inmate, Shreve vows to do whatever it takes to protect the younger boy. Together they face off against the mysterious Mr. Quincrux, who has the ability to enter minds and control people from the inside. Shreve and Jack decide they must to escape the center, and their journey toward freedom will take them through some increasingly dark and scary territory.
Is it any good?
The Twelve-Fingered Boy is gripping from start to finish, an intense horror/action story that finds new juice in familiar situations. The book has echoes of The Matrix, X-Men and the novels of Stephen King, but author John Hornor Jacobs makes sure those influences don't overwhelm his own voice. Shreve and Jack are very compelling characters, and Jacobs ends the novel in such a way that readers will be anxious to get their hands on the saga's next installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why superheroes so enduring in pop culture. What characteristics do they have that appeal to such a wide audience?
Do people have an unalienable right to privacy? How far should governments be allowed to investigate the private thoughts and personal beliefs of their citizens?
What methods do institutions like juvenile detention centers use to control the behavior of their inmates? Are these methods ever abused by those in authority?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.